mytopleft

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Finally, the key to a successful marriage

Cpl. Wolves sent me this. I pass it along without comment:


I hate this fucking business

Ideally, I would have rolled over to another project at the firm I was at last week right after my project ended. That was what everyone wanted -- me, the firm, the agency, and the folks working the project I am supposed to roll over to -- but the partner whose approval is needed to add people to that project didn't get the word, apparently. Everyone agrees that project needs more people, but first they need this partner's approval. Not forthcoming so far, weeks into the process.

So I've been applying for backstop jobs, and this is where how this industry works has been working against me. Every agency has an A list -- people they go to first because they know them and those people usually work for that agency. They go beyond the A list only when they have to. I have worked for so many agencies, I don't even know if I am on an A list anywhere. Maybe two agencies. Unfortunately, the four jobs I have applied for in the last week are with agencies I have either never worked for or haven't worked for in many years. Needless to say, I am 0-for-4. Which sucks. It's not like these were primo projects. They were projects I was totally willing to jump from when my rollover comes, even if it meant completely burning my bridge with that agency. These assholes won't even give me the opportunity to abuse them, damn it!

So, I remain unemployed, and increasingly nervous. Something better happen soon, or else I'll have to start robbing liquor stores, and .45 ammo don't come cheap.

Is there a reason so-called environmentalists don't care about the Nicaragua canal?

A Chinese consortium is proposing -- and apparently going forward with -- plans to cut a Pacific-to-Atlantic canal through Nicaraugua, in competition with the Panama Canal. Oddly enough, this plan is not getting much attention, even though an article in Nature sets forth the case that this project would be an "environmental disaster:"
In our view, this canal could create an environmental disaster in Nicaragua and beyond. The excavation of hundreds of kilometres from coast to coast, traversing Lake Nicaragua, the largest drinking-water reservoir in the region, will destroy around 400,000 hectares of rainforests and wetlands.
The accompanying development could imperil surrounding ecosystems. Some 240 kilometres north of the most likely route of the canal lies the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve — 2 million hectares of tropical forest that is the last refuge of many disappearing species (see 'Nicaragua carve-up'). Less than 115 kilometres to the south is the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve, with more than 318,000 hectares of tropical dry forest. Worse still, the probable canal route cuts through the northern sector of the Cerro Silva Natural Reserve.
The Cato Institute also noticed the curious silence on the part of the world's "environmentalists:"
Interestingly, despite this potential massive threat to one of the most pristine environmental reservoirs in the Americas, none of the leading international environmental organizations, such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth or the Sierra Club, has issued a single statement about the Nicaragua Canal.
Seems strange that these groups would be up in arms about a hypothetical threat like man-made global warming, and yet completely silent on and actually environmental disaster-in-waiting like this. What could be the difference that accounts for the disparity in concern? You tell me.

The data won't support the global warming alarmists, so they change the data. They lie

It's really that simple. The people who want you to believe that the world is burning up act as if the surface temperature data for the last 150 years is a) 100% reliable, 2) consistently measured over time and iii) pure as the driven snow.

What they don't tell you is that most of the temperature stations in the U.S. (probably the best system worldwide) are poorly sited, there are far fewer measuring stations than there used to be just 25 years ago (although the NOAA tries to make that sound like a positive thing) and the temperatures are adjusted by opaque algorithms that always seem to make the past cooler and the present warmer. And that's for the "good data." How reliable do you think the temperature readings in Africa, Asia, the former Soviet Union and other less developed countries are over the last 100 years or so? Yet those records also serve as "support" for the claim that surface temperatures are rising. Satellite records don't support that, but who are you going to believe, the climate alarmists or your lying eyes?

Well, some folks are starting to notice. James Delingpole lays out how the alarmists at GISS and the other official record-keeping organizations routinely adjust the temperature records to support their warming narrative. He presents a pretty clear picture of what is going on:
Suppose say, that for the last 100 years my family have been maintaining a weather station at the bottom of our garden, diligently recording the temperatures day by day, and that what these records show is this: that in the 1930s it was jolly hot – even hotter than in the 1980s; that since the 1940s it has been cooling.
What conclusions would you draw from this hard evidence?
Well the obvious one, I imagine, is that the dramatic Twentieth Century warming that people like Al Gore have been banging on about is a crock. At least according to this particular weather station it is.
Now how would you feel if you went and took these temperature records along to one of the world’s leading global warming experts – say Gavin Schmidt at NASA or Phil Jones at CRU or Michael Mann at Penn State – and they studied your records for a moment and said: “This isn’t right.” What if they then crossed out all your temperature measurements, did a few calculations on the back of an envelope, and scribbled in their amendments? And you studied those adjustments and you realised, to your astonishment, that the new, pretend temperature measurements told an entirely different story from the original, real temperature measurements: that where before your records showed a cooling since the 1940s they now showed a warming trend.
You’d be gobsmacked, would you not?
Yet, incredible though it may seem, the scenario I’ve just described is more or less exactly analogous to what has happened to the raw data from weather stations all over the world.
Delingpole provides a number of "before and after" graphs that show examples of how the actual records have been "adjusted" at various weather stations. These adjustments are not anomalies. They are routine. And they are consistent -- they always make the past colder, and the present warmer. Nothing like a little settled science, I always say. If the numbers won't support your theory, change the numbers. Read the whole piece, and look at those graphs. They are by no means the only weather stations that have undergone those kinds of adjustments. Every station in the U.S. has, as have most stations worldwide. The long and the short of it is that, as skeptics have argued for years, the surface temperature record is not reliable -- an intuitive position, really -- and the satellite record does not support the warming theory. Can we please stop worrying about the planet catching fire, Al?

Monday, March 30, 2015

I'm sure this doesn't mean bad shit is on the horizon

I am totes sure the Marines are not doing this because they think shit is going to hell in a handbasket. No way:
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- At the northwestern tip of this massive base, hundreds of Marines spent the last 10 days preparing for full-scale war. It's the first time in more than a decade they are training for this type of combat, all aligned with new guidance from the commandant.
Gen. Joseph Dunford expects all Marine units to be "physically and mentally ready" to deploy anywhere, at any time, he said in planning guidance released last month. But instead of having every platoon, company and battalion involved in constant training for everything, he has outlined broad responsibilities for each of the three Marine Expeditionary Forces. Commanders and Marines can now focus on core competencies related to specific operations they might be involved in. This rebalance will help address shortfalls in personnel, equipment and training in nondeployed units, he said.
It's also the first exercise of its size in more than a decade. More than 1,800 Marines and sailors were involved in the training, which simulated the deployment of more than 50,000 U.S. troops. The countries in the exercise are fictional, and no one mentioned a specific threat, even though talk of "anti-access area denial" conjures images of Russia and China.
Maybe they were just overdue for an exercise like this. Maybe they did this because this is what they do - prepare for war. Personally, I consider that the most likely explanation. After all, they didn't have to train to go to war in a big way recently because they were actually doing it.. Pretty much the entire Marine Corps rotated through Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times. The 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment was referred to for a time as the "No war 2-4" because they didn't deploy for -- Oh my God! -- 3 years.

On the other hand, maybe they're doing this because Marine leadership isn't confident that Barry's foreign policy is reducing the odds that Marines will have to go someplace soon. That couldn't be it, could it?


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Europe is on fire and Barry is getting NATO ready for the challenge. Oh, wait, never mind.

OK, so last week, the general secretary of NATO was in the U.S. for three days. I don't know why. I only know that the Obama administration declined to meet with him, despite NATO requests. I mean, it's not like there are problems in Europe or something. What a fucking dick:
President Barack Obama has yet to meet with the new head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and won't see Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this week, even though he is in Washington for three days. Stoltenberg’s office requested a meeting with Obama well in advance of the visit, but never heard anything from the White House, two sources close to the NATO chief told me.
The leaders of almost all the other 28 NATO member countries have made time for Stoltenberg since he took over the world's largest military alliance in October. Stoltenberg, twice the prime minister of Norway, met Monday with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa to discuss the threat of the Islamic State and the crisis in Ukraine, two issues near the top of Obama's agenda.
Kurt Volker, who served as the U.S. permanent representative to NATO under both President George W. Bush and Obama, said the president broke a long tradition. “The Bush administration held a firm line that if the NATO secretary general came to town, he would be seen by the president ... so as not to diminish his stature or authority,” he told me.
Never mind that Russia is pouring arms into Ukraine to fight the legitimate government,  or that the Russians appear to be testing defenses, that they've threatened the UK and Sweden with mock bomber attacks, or that they've threatened Denmark because Denmark has committed ships to a NATO missile shield. No need to worry about NATO or our treaty obligations there, right? Why meet with the new NATO general secretary when all is quiet on the Eastern front? This fucking guy is going to get us killed.




Saturday, March 28, 2015

Denmark and the euro

A while back, I asked a Denmark reader about an article I had read that suggested Denmark should ditch the euro. This is his response:
The Euro is great for free-loaders such as Greece, Spain and other lazy buggars. Why we fix our currency to that of southern free-loaders is behind my comprehension. I say: Let sink what cannot float! Let's ditch the euro!
I have no idea how other Danes think, though... Most people don't care about EU stuff.
So there you have it.

Haiku haiku

Keep writing haikus
Not sure why I keep it up
Guess I just like it

Traffic haiku

Yeah, going there:

Traffic in toilet
Guess I should try to change that
Not sure what to do

Another unemployment haiku

Yeah, what the hell. Here you go:

No job offer yet
Want to fucking kill someone
Guess I can't do that.

Can I?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Now THAT is a serious threat

Editor's note: I wrote a post about this, then asked Cpl. Wolves to edit and add to as he saw fit. It is, after all, his story. The following post contains virtually no content from me; this is all Cpl. Wolves, who I hope will write humor for a living. If he allows me to do so, I plan to link to his other writings on the web. He is fucking hilarious.

After his most recent drill weekend, Cpl. Wolves came home with what might be the funniest SNAFU story ever. Apparently, a sergeant in the Motor Transport section was the recipient of a text from one of his Marines, purportedly containing an alert from CNN about an ISIS bomb threat that was shutting down streets all over northern Virginia.  It contained a link that supposedly led to a CNN-produced map of the streets closed.  It goes without saying that this is big news, and our beloved sergeant did what any dutiful non-commissioned officer would do: he forwarded the text to the unit's First Sergeant and broke several traffic laws of middling importance to get home and prepare his family for the apocalypse.  As you do.

What he did not do was check the link.

The First Sergeant -- the senior enlisted man in the detachment -- decided that, yeah, a bomb threat was probably pretty important, and, yeah, the Colonel should probably be notified.  I mean, how awkward would it be if the Commanding Officer had to find out about a national security situation from the nightly news while his First Sergeant kept his mouth shut?

Heck, now that you mention it, better send that link to everyone.  Forewarned is forearmed, after all, and we're Marines, goddamn it.  Nobody catches us with our pants down, especially not a bunch of goat-fucking terrorists who think indoor plumbing is black magic direct from the devil.  So he typed up an email.  Two hundred and fifty names including two full bird colonels.  But if you're going to send an email to everyone in the unit, including a link to a news site, it's probably a good idea to find out specifically what the report says.  So, he moved his mouse away from that "send" button.  Just for a moment.

First Sergeant did check the link.  First Sergeant has seen a great many things over his long career.  First Sergeant has seen a great many things he would like to forget.

But you cannot unsee what has been seen.

You have been warned, and should follow the NSFW  link at your peril.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Aaaaaaaand here comes Denmark on the outside!

If this is a horse race, Denmark is Seabiscuit, an underdog if ever there was one. And yet, after falling more than 200 visits behind France in recent months, Denmark is now only 9 visits down. Further, the Danes are slowly but surely closing in on the third-place Germans, despite Germany's obvious numerical advantage. Other than the Danish bright spot, traffic this month is in the toilet. Um, tell your friends to drop by, mmmmm-kay?

All kit-tays, all the time?

Mrs. Wolves loves her kit-tays. Unfortunately, they are moving out as soon as Cpl. Wolves buys a house, which will happen soon. In the meantime, Mrs. Wolves continues to pump out kit-tay photos. Fortunately, they remain absurdly cute. Here they are, taking a nap in Mrs. Wolves' chair. And yes, she allows this and sits on the ottoman:


Naturally, they wake up at some point. What do they do? Help each other out with a little post-nap clean-up:


It's hard to go wrong with kit-tays.

It looks like I'm reasonably well prepared for the end of civilization as we know it

So I got this list from a reader, who asked, "You've got most of these covered--right?" Well, let's check it out. The list included the following 10 skills:
1. Gardening for Food
2. Animal Husbandry
3. Butchering an Animal
4. Food Preservation
5. Blacksmithing
6. Basic Carpentry
7. Basic Mechanical Repair
8. Herbal Medicine
9. Horseback Riding
10. Hunting
As anyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows, I am pretty good at gardening and food preservation. As it happens, I can ride a horse like a boss, I am down with basic carpentry, I hunt, I know how to butcher an animal, and I am fair at animal husbandry, as long as they don't get real sick. But I've tended farmed animals, so I feel like I could pull that off.

What does that leave us? Blacksmithing, basic mechanical repair, and herbal medicine. I know very little about any of these, alas. I've never worked a forge, but I understand the concept and could probably pull it off, although my shit would be ugly. Engines? Forget it? Other, more basic mechanical shit -- OK, but not great. Unfortunately, I think they're talking about engines here. To me, that makes no sense. No engine works without fuel, and unless we're talking about a steam engine, if I need to know these skills, fuel is going to be in mighty short supply. So this one doesn't  bother me.

Herbal medicine, though, is a weak point for me that I feel like I should brush up on. Assuming these skills ever become important again, that is going to be a big one. So look forward to posts in which I learn about herbal medicine and blacksmithing. Fuck a bunch of mechanical repair.

Unemployment haikus

I was trying to compose a few haikus in my head while I was walking Jeb the Wonder Dog last night. The problem with this, of course, is that my head is quite sieve-like, and haikus composed do not equate to haikus that I will remember when I am finally able to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, as the case may be. In any event, here are a couple unemployment haikus:

Unemployed again
Desperately seeking work
Really don't like this

Project has ended
No rollover for me yet
Rule No. 1 strikes?

We are told that we are being rolled over to a pretty good project, but there is a timing issue -- they're waiting for partner approval. Could happen today, tomorrow, a month from now. We'll see, I guess.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I have good news and I have bad news

The good news is I am going to have more time to post on the blog, which should lead to an increase in the quantity of posts, if not the quality. The bad news? I have more time starting tonight, because this project just plotzed a little early -- we're done tonight. Nothing to roll over to at the moment, although that could change quickly. As it is, I need to hustle to find something for next week. Gotta love this industry.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Overheard

People say stuff at work. Most of it isn't interesting or amusing. Some is. The coming of spring and the swarming of tourists apparently prompted this:
Temp: Warm weather doesn't make women better looking, it just makes them wear less.
I suppose that could cut both ways. Another temp commenting on the deadline pressure to finish this project:
Temp: When the going gets ugly, the ugly get beer.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

I'm sorry, the sink did what?

Sure, people talk about things looking like somebody set off a hand grenade in a bucket of shit, but nobody actually sets off a hand grenade in a bucket of shit. Except in Temp Town.

We got to work this morning to find that sometime during the night, somewhere in the plumbing something somehow turned the kitchen sink into a shit cannon. In the review space kitchen area, the sink experienced a major poo-splosion, blasting shit all over the wall behind the sink, the sink itself, the ceiling above it, the floor around it and pretty much everything within a couple feet of the sink. And when I say "shit," I don't mean "stuff." I mean shit. Poo. Poop. Caca. Dung. Manure. Fecal matter. Evil fudge. So yeah, we aren't going over there today. Guess we'll be buying bottled water across the street, too, since the filtered water dispenser is at Ground Zero.

It would seem that the same unknown process that turned the kitchen into a weapon of mass eruption also worked its magic on a sink in the women's restroom that is on the other side of the wall from the kitchen sink. But I have to take the word of other, more female members of the project for that, as I do not typically use the women's restroom. Not that anyone is now, of course. Good thing there are two.

Reckon I better get back to clicking before somebody points the cannon at me.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Why I live 50 miles from where I work

Because it's worth it:


Thanks to Mrs. Wolves for the picture.

A minor correction

Sure, I called tomorrow the first day of Spring. Maybe not. Technically speaking, the vernal equinox -- when the sun shines directly on the equator -- occurs today at 6:45 pm. Night and day are nearly equal in length today, and from here on out, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, the days will get longer. The vernal equinox always happens on March 19, 20 or 21 and is considered the first day of spring. This year, it happens to fall on March 20 -- today -- but as a kid, we always considered March 21 to be the first day of spring. Not sure we gave a lot of thought to when the actual equinox was. Anyway, enough boring people with details. Whether the first day of spring is today or tomorrow, we're having a snowstorm now. There was more than 3 inches on the ground when I left home, and more coming. As I said, Winter is a stubborn bastard.

First day of Spring tomorrow!

That's right, kids, tomorrow is the vernal equinox. All you pagans get out there and worship trees, get your Druid on or whatever it is pagans do for the vernal equinox. Me, I just like saying vernal equinox. Makes me sound like I know something.

So what better way to celebrate the coming of Spring -- OK, sure, a day early -- than with a snowstorm? Some people woke up to daffodils, I woke up to this:


A pretty solid 2 inches on the ground, almost up to 3 and no signs of stopping in the next few hours. We are located right at the 6-inch line, so I expect we will get less than that, but more than we have. Maybe 4 inches. This is not a huge problem, but for once the federal government is not even on 2-hour delay, which means traffic will be awful, with tons of accidents. Which is why I am sitting home at 8 am, waiting it out. It's not sticking to the roads too much, but it is slick. People here can't drive in snow, so it is best to avoid driving in snow when hundreds of thousands of other people are doing so. Doesn't matter if I can drive in snow if the dude behind me can't and decides to park in my trunk.

Anyway, it looks like winter again:


It looks like I won't have to shovel, anyway. Supposed to turn to rain this afternoon. Right now, though, every snowflake is unique:


And many of them are on my car:


Winter is a stubborn bastard.

When in doubt, go with kit-tays

Sure, it's a cheap post, but let's face it -- cats and kittens are second only to porn on the internet. So, without further ado, here we have Murder and Mayhem taking up all of the sitting space on Mrs. Wolves' chair:


Yes, this meant that, for several hours, until they woke up, Mrs. Wolves sat on the ottoman to work on the computer rather than disturb the kit-tays. Personally, I would have evicted them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Winter II: The Sequel

Dude, what happened to spring? Took Jeb the Wonder Dog for his walk last night and I thought I somehow had discovered time travel. It has been in the 50s at night lately, but last night it was back into the 20s. Damn, y'all, how did I manage to go back in time a couple weeks? Throw in the forecast for snow -- snow! -- Friday, and the time trip is complete. Mind boggled? Check.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day, y'all!

I think my ancestors must have been from Southern Ireland. Can't put a nifty graphic up because I'm blogging behind enemy lines, but I wanted to wish everyone a happy one. St. Patrick: kicking snake ass so you don't have to. Go raise a few for the man.

It's plowing time again

 Yeah, I went to The Farm Sunday. We were hoping to get started with this year's planting, since the snow melted so quickly. Naturally, Jeb the Wonder Dog wanted to drive:


I couldn't let him, of course -- he can't drive a stick. So he settled into the passenger's seat -- a big difference from the backseat of the SUV, which since has died and gone to car Heaven (or Hell -- I'm not sure) when he could move from side to side and check out both windows. I think he was OK with this, though:


So we looked things over. The onion bed, where we grow carrots in the other half, will stay put, as the onions have done well there and besides, once you plant onions, you always have onions there. We need to repair the box and put it back it place, but then we'll be ready to plant onions:


Ditto for the strawberries. These are perennials, so we might need to add some plants, but basically we need to repair the box, put it back in place and let the strawberries ride where they are:


The other crops will be relocated to a place with better sun. These are the bed boxes we needed to move:


And this is the dirt (or at least some of the dirt) that will fill them:


Unfortunately, because of snow melt and several recent days-long episodes of rain, the ground was so wet -- like walking on a soaked sponge -- that we couldn't bring the tractor out, so we couldn't do very much besides plan. We did that, and we also managed to weed out the asparagus bed, which also will be staying put:


Next weekend, we will be doing a number of things. I hope the ground is dried out enough to put the beds in place, because we need to put the peas in the ground, as well as the beets, spinach and lettuce. We'll see what the weather brings. Hope it's good, because it's time:


Monday, March 16, 2015

Am I the only one who finds this picture creepy?

Hillary! Clinton, who now seeks to be president because she has a vagina and it's time, dammit, plus you people owe me so just fucking elect me, appears to be mashing heavily on Ronan Farrow, son of Mia Farrow and either Woody Allen or Frank Sinatra. Ronan, of course, is recently on the outs from his former show on MSDNC -- er, MSNBC -- and so is, I suppose, unemployed. I don't know when this picture was taken, or under what circumstances, but the sight of Grandma Hillary macking on some dude young enough to actually be her grandson is just a little freaky-deaky.


Is it just me?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Readers send the most wonderful things

Looking at my email and comments, I sometimes get the most wonderful things from readers. Like this:


I've done a little research, I found out how they guy made this taco shell out of bacon, and I plan to recreate the process for a future food porn post. But look at that. Is this a great country or what?


I suspect this could be true of pretty much every government employee everywhere

Through Ace, I found this TaxProf story about a government official in Finland who met a rather quiet end:
A tax office official in Finland who died at his desk was not found by his colleagues for two days.
The man in his 60s died last Tuesday while checking tax returns, but no-one realised he was dead until Thursday.
I don't think I need to say anything else.

Wow. Just wow.

Everyone in Temp Town has a firing story. Some they've heard, some they were a part of -- every Temp Town project ends with everybody getting fired, so there are a gazillion stories. Usually, you get an email, "Project's over." Sometimes you get a phone call, same thing. Sometimes you get an announcement on Wednesday that the project will be done on Friday, sometimes you get that announcement on Friday.

There used to be a project manager at one of the agencies I frequently work for who would walk into the review room, and clap his hands together before he started talking. This became known as the "Clap of Doom," because when he came in and clapped his hands, he was about to announce that the project was over as of the end of the day.  I still joke about it with him, even though he now is in sales and no longer delivers the Clap of Doom.

Sometimes, you get the Pizza of Doom. If you are on a project where food is never provided, and suddenly the firm or the agency has pizza brought in, you know that the project is over. Today, tomorrow, whatever. The Pizza of Doom never lies.

But tonight, I think I was witness to the most cruel and heartless firing I've ever been a party to. Most projects start with a number of people, add some and then cut a bunch, keeping just a few for the final stages of work. This project has been no different. We added people twice. Yesterday, more than half got let go, but were rolled over to another project at the same firm. No blood, no foul. Tonight was different.

Right before quitting time, almost 8 pm, the firm legal assistant providing us with adult supervision -- yes, it is odd that on Temp Town projects barred attorneys aren't allowed to work without a paralegal supervising, but that's the way it is -- came in and called out three names. Only one of the three was actually there. I don't know if the other two had already left, or simply didn't come in because it was Saturday and they had a million better things to do. The one person who was there answered, and was told to check in her batch of documents before she left, done or not.

Ho. Ly. Shit. Only one reason for that announcement -- you're done. The fact that this was done in front of everyone, by a paralegal, adds insult to injury. Bad enough to get cut. Much worse to get cut in front of everyone. We won't even try to delve into getting cut by a guy who can do his job with a high school diploma while you job requires a law degree and bar membership. Seriously, everyone at any law firm is higher in the pecking order than  any temp working for that firm.

I think it goes without saying that the woman who was there for this indignity was highly torqued. Not that it helped her.

I think I've lost the will to carry on

Y'all go ahead without me. Save yourselves. I'll just lie here for a while. Don't worry about me. My fatigue-induced hallucinations will keep me company. I'll be fine. Or I'll die. One or the other. Maybe should take a day off. Of course, if I get caught blogging behind enemy lines, I might find myself with a lot of days off.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Seriously, is that a noble beast or what?

Jeb the Wonder Dog is a winter warrior. He never shows signs of being cold, he doesn't care about snow or freezing rain or any other form of winter weather. Dude is into it. So when we got 9 inches of snow last week, Jeb's main response was, can we play in it?


Yeah, he's digging it. I'll probably take him to The Farm Sunday for the opening of farming season. He digs that, too.

Sign of spring?

Immediately after last week's 9-inch snow dump, Mrs. Wolves was out photographing and spotted a whole bunch of robins. She has a couple pictures of a tree with maybe half a dozen robins in in, but they were too far away for decent viewing. Then she got this one, the first robin of spring:


Never mind that there was a ton of snow on the ground, this bird is making a statement. Spring is here. Unless, of course, it isn't -- I hear rumblings of a winter weather event next weekend. Guess we'll see. In the meantime, farming starts Sunday!

She likes trees. What can I say?

After last week's snow event, Mrs. Wolves went out  photographing. She does that. She has a good eye, even if she is a little arty. She likes trees:


Trees with snow are a bonus, I guess.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I got kit-tay photos, damn it

As always, Mrs. Wolves continues to take pictures of the kit-tays because they just so damn cute. Apparently, one of them spent some time the other day attacking a plastic bag:


They do that. Another one -- maybe the same one, as no one can really tell them apart anymore -- was examining some game packaging that was essentially a clear plastic box with one side open. I don't know why cats like to explore that kind of shit, but they do:


And, of course, since last weekend was drill weekend for Cpl. Wolves, he had his MOLLE pack loaded and ready to go. Naturally, a kit-tay felt the need to stake it out as her territory:


As much as Cpl. Wolves loves those kit-tays, I am reasonably confident that when the time came for him to head off to drill, that cat got evicted.

I'm still waiting for Mrs. Wolves to make another Murder and Mayhem video. Perhaps we'll get one soon.

Seems like a strange way to arm your armed forces

What the fuck is Denmark thinking? Denmark has a Home Guard, kind of like the U.S. National Guard, except the Danes (like the Swiss) issue these folks weapons, which they keep in their homes to facilitate rapid response. OK, so far, fine. But now Denmark is in effect disarming their Home Guard:
Some 4,300 volunteer members of the Danish Home Guard are being told to disassemble their rifles in light of the fact that one of the weapons used in February's shootings in Copenhagen was a stolen military rifle.
One of the weapons used in February’s terror attack in Copenhagen was an M95 rifle that had previously been stolen from the home of a Danish Home Guard (Hjemmeværnet) member.
As a result, the Home Guard has now decided that it will temporarily require all Home Guard members to turn in the bolts to their rifles, making them unable to be fired.
So now 4,000 members of Denmark's military have what amount to clubs. The M95 looks an awful lot like the M16 and I suspect it is a license-made copy of that US rifle. Because somebody managed to steal one, everybody in the Guard gets disarmed? I don't see how that makes sense. The Home Guard presumably has weapons in their immediate possession for a reason. By essentially taking those weapons out of the Home Guard's possession -- no bolt, no bang -- the Home Guard can no longer respond in a timely fashion to an emergency that requires them to be armed. I am led to understand that they mostly respond to disaster relief and non-combat stuff like that, but I have to believe they were given rifles for a reason. Is that reason gone? Help me out here, Danish readers.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Good possibility winter is actually done

Tonight when I was walking Jeb the Wonder Dog, the temperature was 37 F. No longer below freezing. Highs during the day have been in the 50s and are supposed to be in the low 60s tomorrow. Planning on starting work on The Farm for Sunday. I think, I hope, I pray -- winter is over.

Man, I hope being competent doesn't make me unemployed

Today, about half of the people on the project were rolled to a different, non-privilege project. They apparently were deemed not capable of making decisions on privilege or writing privilege log entries. They probably weren't, as most temps aren't. We do too much dummy priv on most projects -- temps are told that if they see a lawyer or the word "legal," priv it. So they do. Temps who actually understand privilege are more unusual, and on a privilege project, dummy priv folks are useless.

On the other hand, we have about two weeks left on this project. The folks who just got rolled to another project are being told four to six weeks. Will people who can't do priv be working after I am done? Could happen. There are no guarantees. There is a rollover opportunity now. There might not be when my part is done. It sucks, but that is the way it is. We will keep our fingers crossed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Work is bad for blogging

Currently working seven days a week on a project that will end quickly by offers much overtime. You have to take it when they offer it -- that's Rule No. 2 -- and you better take it now, because Rule No. 3 teaches us that tomorrow is too late: every project ends tomorrow. Anyway, getting home at 10:30 at night, taking care of business and trying to get enough sleep to get up at 5:30 doesn't leave much time for blogging. Hence, my silence lately. Sorry about that, and I'll try to be better. Maybe a little more blogging behind enemy lines.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Yeah, another snow day

Despite the email telling us to just fucking show up, I took a snow day yesterday. I got up at 6 am and there was about an inch of snow on the ground, and it was really coming down. I figured I could get to work, but I might not be able to get home. I went back to bed. Sure 'nuff, when I got up again at 9, there was about 3 inches, and piling up fast. I stayed home and played board games with Cpl. Wolves and Marrying Into Wolves. Good fun. It kept snowing. At about 1 pm, it looked like this:


And this:


And this:


I shoveled the walk about then, and less than an hour later it looked like this:


When it finally quit at about 5 pm, I took out the old tape measure, and it looked a lot like we got 9 inches, maybe a little more:


Naturally, this meant that Cpl. Wolves had to get his ass out there and clear my car. Yeah, I helped, and we got both cars cleared and shoveled out so we could leave today -- me at 0 Dark 30, when the temperature was a balmy 1 degree, and him in the early afternoon to go to drill weekend with the mercury solidly in the high 20s. He is fairly likely to come home Sunday as Sgt. Wolves.



Early evening, a little more snow falling, but between the shoveling and liberal use of potassium chloride (good for the plants -- potassium is fertilizer) the walk stayed clear:


Wish I could say the same for the rest of the neighborhood. Walking Jeb the Wonder Dog last night was quite an experience. Deep snow, blocked sidewalks and cold as a motherfucker.

With a little luck, this is winter's last gasp. The guy I grow stuff with wanted to get started on The Farm this weekend -- need to build boxes for some beds and get all the beds in place and all soiled up -- but it looks like that won't happen, as we are under a whole bunch of snow,  and likely will be for a bit. We'll see how hard spring hits, but we should start getting posts from The Farm soon. Can't wait.

They should have no trouble finding a guy for this

Sometimes you see stuff on The Posse List that makes you wonder what the fuck people are taking, drug-wise. Like this one:
The Litigation team seeks to hire an associate in a project lawyer position for their Patent Prosecution and Litigation practice area.
The candidate will not be guaranteed any specific hours, but generally will have an expected billable hour goal of 1,000 hours annually, and will be paid an hourly rate for billable credit hours worked and recorded.
This position will not be a partnership track position and will not be benefits eligible.
Applicants should have 5 - 10 years of patent experience, including significant experience in drafting and negotiating technology-related agreements.
The ideal candidate will be licensed before the USPTO and have an advanced degree in biology.
The position can be filled in either the Richmond or Washington, DC offices.
OK, let me get this straight. No guaranteed hours? Check. But guaranteed only about half-time? Check. No benefits? Check. No way to make partner? Check. Need lots of quality experience? Check. Need specialized graduate degree besides your law degree? Check.

Yeah, what the fuck could go wrong? Lots of guys with those qualifications are probably dying to work part-time.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Get the virgins warming up in the bullpen, people

Yeah, the asshole jihadi who shot up Fort Hood is getting his wish:
FORT HOOD, Texas — Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist convicted in the November 2009 shooting rampage that left 13 dead and 31 wounded, was sentenced to death Wednesday by a military jury.
Prosecutors had sought the death penalty, saying Hasan's murderous rampage at the sprawling military base here left tragic and devastating loss for victims and loved ones.
Hasan, 42, was convicted last week on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 charges of attempted premeditated murder. He appeared expressionless upon hearing the verdict, which came less than two hours of deliberations.
Seriously, this guy has a major boner to get to the virgins he thinks Allah has promised him:
Hasan, a Virginia-born Muslim who acted as his own attorney, admitted he was responsible for the shootings at his trial. He had previously said he was a "soldier of Allah,'' deserved martyrdom and that his attack was designed to protect Muslim insurgents abroad.
I can't think of a better candidate for capital punishment. That the Obama regime called this "workplace violence" for so long is absurd. This guy was admittedly motivated by his religion. Can we please call it what it is? Islamist mother fucking terrorism. They call it that. Why can't we?

At least they finally gave the shooting victims the recognition they deserve, and the health care benefits that go with it. The victims of the shooting can now receive the Purple Heart, acknowledging that they were wounded (or killed) in the line of duty.

Yes, it took me a week to get to this. And even then, it took a snow day for me to find time to post it. All the same, I am glad that the Fort Hood victims finally got some justice, and I wish Nidal Hasan a speedy trip to hell.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Man, I wish I fit the qualifications

I would straight up own these people. On The Posse List recently, a company advertised for a temp with some pretty unusual qualifications:
[A company] in Bethesda, MD is looking for a contractor for the following:
*Contractor title: Arabic-speaking Chemical Regulatory Consultant
*Key requirements: JDs and non-JDs with legal research background; must be fluent in Arabic
*Location: Bethesda, MD (metro accessible)
*Start date: Early April 2015
*Duration: Part time position (possible extension up to a year) and mostly remote work (training will be in Bethesda)
*Salary: DOE and market rate
*Hours: 10-15 hours per month but may increase depending on the monthly budget and workload
Responsibilities:
* Research, monitor, analyze and interpret the chemical, cosmetic and food regulations in Arabic-speaking countries
* Convert the regulatory information into database format
* Draft regulatory news announcements involving chemical, cosmetic and food regulations in Arabic-speaking countries
* Work with in-house chemists in representing the data

Qualifications:
* Language fluency is required; must be able to read and translate laws, regulations and standards in Arabic into English
* Excellent legal research skills required
* Excellent attention to detail required
* Data entry experience required
* Microsoft Office Suite (Access, Excel) experience required
* Familiarity with chemical product regulation/ EH&S industry/ cosmetics industry/ food additive regulatory compliance is a plus
* Degree in chemistry or food science related fields is a plus* Both JDs and non-JDs will be considered.
If you meet the qualifications and are interested in being considered for this project, please send a copy of your resume in PDF format to [the contact person].. In your Subject line please note "Arabic Consultant".
 OK, what are the odds that someone with those qualifications is unemployed? And if that unemployed, qualified person exists, what are the odds that person is cool with 10-15 hours a month? Obviously, they are looking for a moonlighter. I'll tell you though, if I fit the qualifications, the "market rate" would be whatever the fuck I say it is. And it would be a lot.

Ansel Adams, eat your heart out.

Mrs. Wolves takes pictures. They usually are pretty good. She likes artistic shots. Like this one of a snowy and icy field:


Most of those footprints are probably mine, Mrs. Wolves' and Jeb the Wonder Dog's. She also likes snow and clouds:


Nice sunshine effect. Anyway, depending upon who you listen to, we could get 10 inches of snow tonight and tomorrow, or we could get 2. The guy who has been more accurate says 10. Right now it is raining/sleeting, waiting to turn over to snow. We'll see. I'm sure either way there will be pictures.

Actual temp utterance

Overheard:

Temp 1: I have a "Privileged" button. I have a "Not Privileged" button. I need a "Fuck It" button.

Now that's what I call a snow policy

As I might have mentioned, it is supposed to snow Thursday in the DC metro area, potentially a lot -- more than six inches (which in DC is a lot). Where I am, it probably will be more. As you may recall, we had a snow day a few weeks ago for a snowfall that was not particularly significant. Well, that shit is in the past.

We got an email today from the agency letting us know that, no matter what the firm's weather hotline says about the firm being open or closed, we are to come to work. For us, the firm is open.

The legal description of this particular snow policy is: Just fucking show up.

This could get interesting.

The roads were fine, but the walk -- now that was interesting

We had a sleet/freezing rain event today. It occurred entirely while I was at work, so I did not have to venture out into it, but Mrs. Wolves texted me in the afternoon and let me know that my drive home might be challenging. Since I have managed to stay out of the ditch through all of our recent winter weather events that have forced me to drive home through them, I was feeling pretty good about my odds.

And as it turned out, by the time I left work, two things had happened. The roads had been treated, and the temperature had risen. No ice on the roads, at least not that I could tell.

Sidewalks? Different story. It wasn't like Sunday night, when I was the only one on my block who de-iced his sidewalk. That actually was better -- because all of the sidewalk except for the part in front of my house was iced over, I knew what to do. Walking on ice is not a big deal -- just walk like a penguin, taking small steps and never really taking your feet off the ice. Shuffle, waddle, whatever you want to call it, you won't fall.

You also won't move very fast. This is a problem for me, because I actually have two dog-walks every night when I get home. First, I walk Jeb the Wonder Dog and Sadie the Auxiliary Back-up Dog together. Jeb pees on everything in sight, and Sadie poops. Five, ten minutes, tops. I waddled as necessary Sunday, with the sidewalks iced over, and when possible I let Jeb pull me along, sliding on the ice, for much of the walk. Kinda fun, like those kids at the mall who have roller skate wheels in the heels of their shoes. I never have figured out how the fuck you walk in those normally. But I digress.

But then I have to walk Jeb again so that he will unleash evil. This is a two-mile, half-hour walk. He needs the exercise, and so do I. Ice complicates this and can make it take much longer than a half-hour. Sunday, we walked in the street, which was ice free. Tonight, different ballgame.

Most of the sidewalks on our two-mile trek were ice-free. Probably 80 percent. The problem, of course, is that other 20 percent. My neighborhood has no streetlights, so I would find myself walking cheerfully on dry (or at least ice-free) sidewalk, and then I suddenly would be sliding all over the place. This happened just at random, and I usually couldn't see the ice before I hit it. I never went down, but I was slip-sliding, Jeb was slip-sliding -- it was like a fucking Paul Simon concert:


Yeah, cheap reference. Live with it.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I'm sorry, the calendar says March

So why did we get snow and ice Sunday? And snow and ice forecast for this afternoon? And more snow Thursday? Someone needs to have a word with someone. It's almost spring, and I expect some spring-like weather, damn it. And yeah, I'm blogging behind enemy lines.

Monday, March 2, 2015

A little food porn for you

So, Sunday night I made some maple-glazed pork chops. Pretty simple, really. You'll need four pork chops -- the recipe calls for bone-in, 3/4-inch thick chops -- and some maple syrup, sea salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar.


Take the pork chops, season them with some sea salt. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet, then toss those chops in. Cook 'em up right:


Once you have cooked the chops (notice that I used boneless, because that is what I had) plate those suckers and tent them (put aluminum foil over them):


Now, put 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into the pan in which you just cooked the chops. Stir it in nicely with the chops' leavings. Bring the vinegar to a boil, then add 1/3 cup of maple syrup:


Bring that to a boil, stirring constantly:


Pour that over the chops:


Looks good, don't it?


And, of course, plate it up:


Bon appetit.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I swear it only does this because I am working weekends

For the third weekend in a row, we had a winter storm that made my drive home ever so interesting. Today, it was snow, sleet and freezing rain -- everyone's favorite. It started snowing right before I got to work, and down in DC it quickly turned to freezing rain. Out where I live, it snowed about an inch before switching over to "wintry mix." I was only planning on working a half day Sunday -- lots of stuff to do back at home -- and I cut that an hour short because of the weather. My trip home was interesting, but nowhere near as interesting as it must have been for all the people I saw who had accidents on along the way -- mostly one-car accidents, at that. A few folks got up close and personal with the Jersey wall in the median. That's going to leave a mark.

I made it home fine, and ran my errands without incident. I just walked the dogs, and the storm is over, but I apparently am the only person on my block who put down salt (I actually use potassium chloride, which is basically fertilizer and totes plant-friendly), because the sidewalks are a skating rink. Both dogs fell on the ice, and you have not lived until you have seen a dog fall on the ice. I don't think they appreciated my laughter. I'm sure when I hit the roads tomorrow at zero dark thirty, I won't be laughing.

Man bites dog!

The United States is not my leading source of visitors today -- not even close. Russia has more than twice as many visitors than does the US. I don't think this has ever happened. Sign of the apocalypse?

Mrs. Wolves digs sunsets

I mean, who doesn't, right? But she really digs sunsets. And she takes pictures of them. A lot. Not as much as she takes pictures of the kit-tays, but a lot. And she gets great pictures of some pretty good sunsets. Like this one:


A slightly different view of the same sunset:


Taken shortly after last week's snowstorm, obviously.

Have they no mercy?

Murder and Mayhem like killing hats. A lot. But only bomber-style winter hats, of which we have two. Usually, they are killing mine. The other day, Mrs. Wolves caught them killing Cpl. Wolves' hat.

Sometimes it's just one cat:


Sometimes it's both cats, but Mayhem was operating alone on this occasion:


You can never be too careful with hats:


They never show mercy. The hat always gets attacked until it is dead.